AUS vs PAK: Noman Ali ruled out of Australia Test series, Mohammad Nawaz to replace

Mohammad Nawaz replaces Noman Ali

Noman Ali has been ruled out of the rest of the Australia-Pakistan Test series, which includes two Test matches, with acute appendicitis; Mohammad Nawaz has been named as his replacement.

A surgery had ruled Naseem Shah out of the three-match Benaud-Qadir Trophy in Australia, while Haris Rauf had opted out of the tour. Leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed was ruled out of the first Test match, at the Perth Stadium. A PCB statement says that “the team management is hopeful that Abrar will be available to the side for the third Test match.”

For the Perth Test, Pakistan went in with Shaheen Shah Afridi – not at his fastest – and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, along with debutants Aamer Jamal and Khurram Shahzad. Their only slow bowler was part-time off-spinner Salman Ali Agha.

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Jamal got 7-139 in the Test match and Shahzad 5-128, but could not prevent Australia from winning by 360 runs inside four days and stretching their streak of home Test match wins against Pakistan to 15.

Worse, Shahzad complained of “discomfort in the left side” during the Test match, and was subsequently ruled out of the rest of the series due to “a stress fracture in his left 10th rib, as well as an abdominal muscle tear”.

Noman Ali ruled out as well

Head coach Mohammad Hafeez had earlier informed that left-arm spinner Noman Ali has suffered a finger injury, but there had not been any update on that.

On December 22, Noman complained of “sudden and severe abdominal pain”, which turned out to be “acute appendicitis”. Like Shahzad, he has been ruled out of the rest of the series as well.

Pakistan had flown out off-spinner Sajid Khan as cover for Abrar. He, along with seamers Hassan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr, and Mir Hamza, are Pakistan’s options along with Shaheen, Jamal, and Faheem.

However, Pakistan left Sajid out of the team for their two-day, 12-a-side, 11-to-bat-and-field match against a Victorian XI at the Junction Oval. Pakistan’s top seven all got runs in a total of 323, while the hosts made 47-1.

Hamza opened bowling with Shaheen and Hassan came on first change, while Wasim and Jamal are also playing, indicating a probable all-pace attack in the second Test match.

Mohammad Nawaz to replace Noman Ali

PCB on Saturday (December 23), named left-arm spin-bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz as the replacement for Noman Ali. Speaking on Nawaz’s appointment, chief selector Wahab Riaz said, “Due to logistical challenges, including visa issues for any new player, and considering the requirement for a left-arm spinner, Nawaz was the best available choice for the side.”

The two remaining Test matches will be played at Melbourne from December 26 and Sydney from January 3.

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